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The Renaissance period was the rise or rebirth of creativity following the "Dark Ages". It has become known as one of the most creative and influential periods in all of history. Paintings went from being flat and without depth to being more realistic and human, similar to the perfection of form seen in the Greek and Roman art periods.


Renaissance art concentrated on precise proportions, realistic perspective, the addition of shading and lighting to truly bring the painting to life. Artwork was commissioned not only by the church, but also aristocrats and nobility as the economy had recovered and more people had the means to secure portraits and art great works to showcase their wealth.

Did you know?

It took Michelangelo four years to paint the Sistine Chapel.  He was paid 3000 ducats, which would amount to approximately $78,000 dollars in today’s terms.

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Below is some basic information on the Renaissance and its characteristics and influences. If you would like to print off a copy of this page along with samples of art from this period, you can download the Renaissance Summary above.

Quick Facts:
  • Name means rebirth or revival

  • It was a return to classical art

  • Focus placed on humans in natural settings

Characteristics and/or Types of Art:
  • Introduction of human body

  • More realistic

  • Oil paints were used

  • Warm, sincere, harmonious

  • Increased awareness of nature

  • Age of discovery and exploration

  • Humanism and realism of the human form

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